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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Mammoth Dig in Selah

Did you know you can visit a mammoth dig north of Selah? That’s right: A team of Central Washington University archeologists are excavating really old elephant bones — about 16,000 years old, according to carbon dating.

It’s a small site, but visitors are welcome to watch the dig and visit the exhibit tent; volunteers are on hand to answer questions.

“With all the criticism that our country isn’t turning out enough homegrown scientists, it just seems like an awesome opportunity to hook kids into science,” says Jake Shapley, a CWU grad student who is writing his master’s thesis on the dig.

Mammoths were extinct ancestors of modern-day elephants that once roamed North America. Until the last Ice Age about 10,000 years ago, they were a common sight in these parts, along with other so-called megafauna, such as the giant sloth, Western camels and saber-toothed tigers.

The dig site is open to the public daily from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Aug. 8. The site is located at 1770 South Wenas Road, about 1.5 miles north of Selah.

Sunday, Aug. 12 — Maryhill Fun Day. “Calling all Books!” Make a book with book artist Roberta Lavadour. Join noted book collector, author and retired librarian Jack Walsdorf for the “Book Lovers Road Show.” Walsdorf will discuss personal book collecting; bring a book or two for discussion and appraisal. 1-4 p.m. Cost: $7 adults, $6 seniors; children younger than 17 free with paying adult during event (usually $2). Maryhill Museum of Art, south of Goldendale on State Route 14.

Saturday, Aug. 18 — Maryhill Arts Festival. Outdoor festival presents more than 50 artists displaying their art; live music performances; food vendors; hands-on art activities for children. Festival admission is free. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Museum admission: $7 adults, $6 seniors, $2 children 6-16. Maryhill Museum of Art, south of Goldendale on State Route 14